Alumni Awards

Pomona College Alumni Awards

Each year, the Alumni Association bestows the following awards on alumni and faculty for their unique, remarkable achievements.

If you would like to nominate an alumnus/a for an Alumni Award, please submit your nomination using the selections below:

Blaisdell Distinguished Alumni Award Nomination

Alumni Distinguished Service Award Nomination

The Blaisdell Distinguished Alumni Award

The Blaisdell Award, one of the most prestigious awards given to Pomona alumni, recognizes individuals for their high achievement in their professions or community service. These are alumni who have carried the spirit of the College beyond the Gates and lived up to President James A. Blaisdell's inscribed words: "They only are loyal to this college who departing bear their added riches in trust for mankind."

Recipients of this award are selected by the Alumni Association Board Leadership Development Committee, and ratified by the full Alumni Association Board.

The Awards Committee shall name the award winners following a confidential process that does not share information about nominees or outcomes. The Committee and the Alumni Association do not respond to nominations or provide any explanation for the process of the Committee. In addition, the Committee may choose to select from current year nominations or past years’ nominations.

Please note, special consideration is given to nominees whose class is in an anniversary reunion year. For 2021, that includes all classes ending in 1s and 6s.

Blaisdell Award Winners

Read more about the 2021 recipients: Cathy Corison ’75, James Strombotne ’56, Martina Vandenberg ’90 and Nathan Wang ’79.

Past Recipients

2020: Steven G. Clarke ’70, Jennifer Doudna ’85, Ann Hardy ’55 and Anjali Kamat ’00.

2019: Brian Schatz ’94, Debra Cleaver ’99, Earl Maize ’72, Lynda Obst ’72 and Marilyn Ramenofsky ’69

2018: Esther Brimmer ’83, Bernard Chan ’88 and Cruz Reynoso ’53

2017: Penny Dean’77, Myrlie Evers-Williams ’68, Richard G. Taranto ’77 and Brian E. Tucker ’67

2016: Gretchen Berland ’86, Ed Krupp ’66, Julian Nava ’51 and George C. Wolfe ’76

2015: Bill Keller ’70, Richard Post ’40, Mary Schmich ’75 and James Turrell ’65

2014: Ifeanyi Menkiti ’64, Joe Palca ’74 and Rip Rapson ’74

2013: William Bader ’53, Cladd Stevens ’63 and Garrett Hongo ’73

2012: Richard Frank ’46 and Tom Redburn ’72

2011: Irving "Sonny" Brown ’56, Hashim Djojohadikusumo ’76, Carlos Guangorena ’76 and Dr. Robert E. Tranquada ’51

2010: R. Stanton Hales ’64 and Tracy Westen ’62 and Robert Stern ’66

2009: Bill Block ’71

The Alumni Distinguished Service Award

Established in 1990 and inaugurated in 1991, the Alumni Distinguished Service Award is bestowed annually to an alumnus or alumna in recognition of that person’s direct selfless commitment and ongoing volunteer service to Pomona College.

The purpose of this award is to pay tribute to an alumnus or alumna for unheralded, selfless and direct service to the College, in evidence over a period of years. Every effort is made to seek a recipient who has not otherwise been already honored and care is given to select worthy candidates from Pomona’s vast alumni body, with first consideration given to those who have not served in the Alumni Association’s highest leadership positions, as trustees, faculty or staff of Pomona.

A committee of past presidents of the Pomona College Alumni Association, chaired by the president two-years prior, selects the award recipient(s).

Distinguished Service Award Winners

Read more about the 2020 recipients: Frank Albinder ’80, Jim McCallum ’70 and Harry E. Pukay-Martin ’70.

Past Recipients

  • 2019: Faye Epps (honorary),  Lisa Prestwich Phelps ’79, P’12 and Susanne Garvey ’74
  • 2018: Cathie Brown ’58 and John Thornton ’53
  • 2017: Barbry Amberg Hogue ’72 and Joan-Patricia (JP) O’Connor ’72
  • 2016: John Edwards ’64 and Pat Riggs ’71
  • 2015: Jeanne Buckley ’65 P'92 and Stan Hales ’64
  • 2013: Rosemary Choate ’63 and Carlos Garcia ’73
  • 2011: Pat Newton ’51
  • 2010: Peter and Sandy Briggs ’64
  • 2009: Lee '48 and Claire ’47 Kingman McDonald
  • 2008: Robert Herman ’51
  • 2007: John Fisher ’67
  • 2006: Byron Hayes '56
  • 2005: Bruce Prestwich ’55 and Carolyn Tranquada Prestwich ’54
  • 2004: Verne Orr ’37
  • 2003: Eleanor Pierson ’41
  • 2002: Patricia Sullivan ’55
  • 2001: Ed Malan '’48 & John Pendleton ’51
  • 2000: Marylin Vaughn Jacobsen ’55
  • 1999: Nick Polos ’51
  • 1998: Lee Harlan ’55
  • 1997: Anne Shaw Price ’44
  • 1996: Robert B. Dozier ’23 & Fannie Boyd Dozier '24
  • 1995: Leonard Agee Shelton ’32
  • 1994: Nancy Barrett Ringle ’41
  • 1993: William Fellows ’33
  • 1992: C. Crawford Thompson ’40
  • 1991: Mason L. Hill ’26

The Inspirational Young Alumni Award

The Inspirational Young Alumni Award honors a young alumnus or alumna (graduate of the last decade) in recognition of their dedication, perseverance, and consistency in following the inscription on the College Gates: “They only are loyal to this college who departing bear their added riches in trust for mankind.”

2016 Recipient: Marlies Talay ’10

Past Recipients

  • 2015: Jessica Ladd '08
  • 2014: Lt. Francine Segovia '04
  • 2013: Maggie Fick '07
  • 2012: Elena Shih '04
  • 2011: Jane Chen '00
  • 2010: Maia Sophia Campbell '01
  • 2009: Melvin Yee '00
  • 2008: Janelle Lin '00
  • 2007: Maria Luz Garcia '01
  • 2006: Emily Arnold-Fernandez '99
  • 2005: Enriqueta Ramirez '00
  • 2004: David Holmes '97
  • 2003: Cuc Vu '92
  • 2001: Loriq Charkoudian '95
  • 2000: Casey Trupin '95
  • 1999: Karin Zaugg '93
  • 1998: Ed Tessier '91
  • 1997: Martina Vandenberg '90
  • 1996: Gretchen Berland '86

The Faculty Alumni Service Award

Started in 2012, the Faculty Alumni Service Award honors faculty "in recognition of exemplary service to the alumni association over a period of years." Recipients of this award are selected by the Alumni Awards Committee and ratified by the Alumni Association Board. 

2018 Recipient: Professor of Politics Lorn Foster

Past Recipients

  • 2017: Shahriar Shahriari
  • 2016: Frank Pericolosi
  • 2015: Char Miller
  • 2014: Ken Wolf
  • 2013: Monique Saigal
  • 2012: Jonathan Wright